‘PTSD’ or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has become quite a prevalent mental health disorder today. Research suggests that approximately 7 to 8 percent of the total population is likely to experience PTSD at some point or the other. Further, there is a higher chance for women to experience sexual abuse and/or assault in their childhood. On the other hand, men usually tend to undergo traumatic events such as injury, accidents, combat, physical assault or disaster. Witnessing death is a common trauma among both men and women.
What is PTSD?
PTSD can be understood as a psychiatric problem which may occur after the experience of a life-threatening event. Examples of such events include the following:
- Sexual assault in childhood or adult life
- Military combat
- Serious accidents
- Terrorist incidents
- Natural disasters
- Death of a loved one
- Survival from a fatal or extremely serious illness
Besides the above-mentioned common events, there could be several other reasons why an individual experiences PTSD in their lifetime.
While few survivors may return to their normal state after some time, others may continue to suffer from stress reactions for an extended period. In fact, these reactions could get worse with time. In other words, these individuals end up developing PTSD.
It is important to understand that anyone may experience PTSD and that it isn’t an indication of “weakness”. Of course, there are factors that could increase the risk of PTSD development in some individuals, but most of them aren’t under the control of the person.
Treatment of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder could be treated by a range of different treatments. The line of treatment most suitable for your individual case will be recommended by your doctor. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is a form of counseling that is deemed highly effective for treating PTSD.
Cognitive therapy involves working with a therapist who helps the patient understand trauma. They will also try and change the way the survivor perceives a particular trauma and its effects. In cognitive behavioural therapy, you will come to identify your thoughts about yourself and the world. These are the thoughts that have the impact of scaring or upsetting you.
Slowly, with support from the therapist, a patient learns how to replace the distressing thoughts with more reaffirming and accurate thoughts.
At the Centre for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, we use CBT to help individuals identify techniques for coping with strong feelings such as guilt, fear, and anger. Call us to get help with PTSD today.